Why do you love your old school A5 so much?

Discussion in 'Browning Auto A-5' started by Ranger6, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. Ranger6

    Ranger6 .270 WIN

    Had a new member ask me why we love our A5’s so much? I thought of many reasons but thought it would be interesting to see what others think.
  2. Rudolph31

    Rudolph31 .30-06

    I was always curious about them since noticing their distinctive shape when I was a kid. Many years later I finally bought one. At the time, although I knew quite a bit about John Browning, I didn’t know much about the gun or his relationship with with FN.

    My new gun (1947 12 gauge) was covered with hieroglyphics. Searching the internet trying to decipher them was frustrating. The history on the Browning website was contradictory. The best advice I found was to buy the Shirley & Vanderlinden book. Much additional knowledge was gained from reading “Sauerfan’s” postings on Shotgun World.

    While doing the research I also needed to work on my new gun. Disassembly isn’t straight forward but with the help of Art Isaacson’s videos I learned, and developed an appreciation of JMB’s masterpiece.

    To finally answer the OP’s question, I like history. New guns are just tools to me. And the Auto-5 has a lot of history. So much so that I started collecting them. Most of my guns wouldn’t be considered “collectible”. But it’s a reference library of production from 1903 to 1984.
    win7stw likes this.
  3. Nigel Martin

    Nigel Martin Copper BB

    It’s everything Rudolph said. For me, I started out thinking I could never like the “humpback”, I loved my late ‘60’s Rem 1100 for its curves and it was the first shotgun I fired as a teenager. I love my O/U’s, using anything like a semi-auto for game is frowned upon in the UK, unless pigeon shooting with mates. But just handling the Auto5 completely hooked me, it’s a “proper” piece of engineering, it’s a seriously and cleverly designed piece of kit - JMB was truly an enlightened genius. There’s a simple pleasure in taking it down to its components and putting it back together again. And people are curious when you take it to the range. Had a Krieghoff owner watch me break some clays a few weeks ago and ask to have a go with my 1965 world market, Plain Jane, 12 gauge, he shot left handed and didn’t mind the spent shell skimming past his nose, he had a huge grin on his face after the first round - everybody who handles the Auto5 ends up wanting one, simple!


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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
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  4. Ranger6

    Ranger6 .270 WIN

    Wanted to post my reason for the love of the A5. I agree with Rudolph31. I do like old things that have history. It really is more then just the a5 history, but my own history with the a5. It was my first shotgun that I shot and owned. I have killed more game with an a5 then all the others combined. It is by far the best looking semi auto out there today. If maintained correctly it won’t let you down when needed the most. I can’t explain it to anyone that hasn’t handled an a5 but it just feels right when brought to the shoulder. You don’t have to work at it, do anything special. Point and shoot. Clearly JMB knew what he was doing. Every time I shoulder an a5 it brings back fond memories of my grandfather, that was the greatest influence on who I am today. And it certainly brings a smile to my face when shooting skeet and my old, faded and heavily used shotgun out does a high dollar one. I always get asked” how old is that thing”. Depending on the one that I got that day, it might be 110 years old. Their mouth dropping is worth a million dollars.
    win7stw, Rudolph31 and Nigel Martin like this.
  5. Rudolph pretty well hit the nail on the head. The other thing for me was that my Father quail hunted with an A5 when I was a little boy. I could not wait to get old enough to shoot it. Once I did the obsession was complete.
    win7stw, Ranger6 and Rudolph31 like this.
  6. win7stw

    win7stw .410

    When I was a teenager I worked construction and saved up to buy an A-bolt and a BPS. I hunted one year with the BPS and then one day my dad surprised my brother and I with Magnum 12’s. He bought three of them so every year on opener the three of us use our old A5’s. They don’t get much use anymore but I love the way they look and handle. We usually care a 16 or 20 gauge over under these days. Shot my first 25 at trap with my magnum twelve.

    The other reason I love the A5 is that it is a mechanical masterpiece. It blows me away that it was designed in 1898 and is still going strong. I’d love to go back in time and see the equipment they were manufactured with. I’d also love to see the craftsmen hand checkering and engraving them. They are elegant, you can’t find that type of quality on today’s guns.
    jlp, Rudolph31 and Ranger6 like this.
  7. win7stw

    win7stw .410

    Forgot to mention I started with a 20 gauge Coast to Coast master mag aka Mossberg 500. The Browning’s were a huge improvement.
  8. Bill Idaho

    Bill Idaho Copper BB

    As I stated in my introductory post....because A5s have a soul, unlike all other guns.
    Rudolph31 likes this.

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